New Year's resolutions, again, and again, and

It’s that time of year for folks to start making New Year’s resolutions. They likely didn’t follow through last year, or the year before that, or the year before that, or…but somehow THIS YEAR it’s really going to happen. No, it isn’t. And people need to face up to that. The problems are many but a major one is that if you need the calendar to motivate you, then you’re in trouble. January 1st comes and goes awful quickly. What happens by February? The majority of people who said THIS YEAR have already quit.

So instead of following familiar new year’s patterns, this year try something completely different and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get results. Here’s what I suggest:

  1. get a personal trainer
    Yes, I’m biased on this but I’m a personal trainer because I know it helps people. I’ve helped hundreds of people get fit so I have seen its benefits many times. The vast overwhelming majority of people believe they know “how to workout” and even worse “how to eat right” but their bodies show the truth – they don’t know as much as they think. Fitness knowledge can’t be had from a book or a magazine article. It comes on the gym floor, on the bike path, by strapping on your running shoes and getting out the door. It’s experiential, not intellectual.

Face facts – if people knew “how to eat right” they wouldn’t be overweight in the first place. Nutrition is both very simple and very complex. But the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Far too many people think they’re informed on nutrition because they read the newspaper but these are the most confused people of all because they get confused by each new article that comes out.

A trainer is like a mirror – they aren’t fooled by the lies you tell yourself about where you think you are. They see you as you really are. It’s also their job to get you results. If you don’t get results, they don’t eat. So many people start out with a destination as their new year’s resolution (lose 20 lbs!) and then wander around in the dark trying to get there. A trainer is a guide that gets you from where you are to where you want to be. Just one month with a trainer can set you on the right path and at least get you to February, further than most new year’s resolutionists make it.

  1. get a DVD program to work out with
    The thing that my two recommendations have in common is that they involve having a plan. Too many people have good intentions but they aren’t capable of making up their own fitness plan. A personal trainer can do that for you and a good DVD set will do that, too. A lot of effort has gone into these better DVD sets, making them fairly good options for folks looking to lose some fat. These better sets were put together with the general population in mind so they have broad appeal. Having a broad appeal, they tend to attract a group of like minded people that can form your support system and increase the likelihood that you’ll follow through with the fitness plan. This part of the equation should not be overlooked! Being part of a fitness community is very helpful and the reason many people fail is that they try to go it alone. Either having a trainer or a community to answer to helps get you through the tough times when a solo exerciser is likely to quit.

There are many sets out there and I suggest you pick the one that is most attractive to you. If you’re interested in it, then you’re more likely to stick to it. Having said that, the best DVD set that I’ve seen for fat loss for the general public is Rushfit by MMA fighter George St. Pierre.

I bought this one and tried it out personally in order to see how it works. Rushfit workouts are better designed than those from P90X or Insanity IMO because they are shorter (meaning you’re more likely to fit them into your life) and because they are less likely to hurt you. Insanity is nonstop plyometric exercise 6 days a week, meaning your legs take a constant pounding. Insanity Asylum is better because the exercise selection is broader but the routines are still artificially designed to be nearly impossible to complete. P90X workouts are often very long. Rushfit workouts are intense and George St. Pierre is on screen doing them with you the whole time so you know they’re hard. But the trainer who designed the program is also right there suggesting easier versions of the exercise if you need to back off the intensity. The exercises are also arranged in a way that’s challenging but not seemingly impossible as with Insanity. I tried this program because I was looking for a DVD set to recommend to friends and family back home that don’t have access to a gym and I feel good knowing the likelihood of them getting injured is much smaller with Rushfit.

The program comes with a a common sense nutrition guide and three workout plans for beginner, intermediate, and advanced trainees so it’s pretty comprehensive.

There are drawbacks to DVD sets and one is what do you do after you’ve done the program? Joining a gym gives you a lot of options for working out because of all the equipment and you get access to the knowledge of the people at the gym. Long term, this is likely a better option. Also working out at home means the couch is right there and calling your name. That’s too seductive for some people. Home is where people relax after work or where they live with kids and family members that might take up their time. These obstacles can prevent DVD sets from being effective.

No matter what you do this year, if fitness is your resolution then by all means DO NOT do exactly what you did last year. Remember that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Good luck in the new year.

You need to set achievable goals, IMO.

I’m going to drink more beer.

Great post, Formosa Fitness.
I can well imagine the rolling of the eyes you must gather dealing with fattifers that talk and project.

Damn good advice!
But sorry if us of the thinifers need not heed, but all the power to you!

[quote=“tomthorne”]You need to set achievable goals, IMO.

I’m going to drink more beer.[/quote]

99% of new year’s fitness resolutions will be made with “I want to look like this” goals in mind. Most people are not in a position to set reasonable goals because their frame of reference is predetermined by the media.

Second, focusing on goals exclusively turns fitness into a purely results-based pursuit rather than a process-based pursuit. It makes people obsess over the scale to an extent that their progress can come to a halt. People so obsessed with how they look often turn fitness into punishment for eating the wrong things or for missing a workout. Once fitness is made into a punishment, there’s no escape.

Granted most trainers at mainstream gyms and even most DVD sets promote this mindset (Brazilian Buttlift?) so my recommendations above might not help after a certain point. They were just meant to break people out of familiar patterns and point to healthier alternatives.

What about gaining weight? I’m trying to gain weight through a powerlifting routine.

What are some of the good foods in Taiwan that are cheap and easy to get protein and calories? This has always been the part I’ve struggled with. Now it’s even more difficult because it’s hard to find the nutritional facts for the foods in Taiwan.

I want harmony with the cosmos.

[quote=“Formosa Fitness”][quote=“tomthorne”]You need to set achievable goals, IMO.

I’m going to drink more beer.[/quote]

99% of new year’s fitness resolutions will be made with “I want to look like this” goals in mind. Most people are not in a position to set reasonable goals because their frame of reference is predetermined by the media.

Second, focusing on goals exclusively turns fitness into a purely results-based pursuit rather than a process-based pursuit. It makes people obsess over the scale to an extent that their progress can come to a halt. People so obsessed with how they look often turn fitness into punishment for eating the wrong things or for missing a workout. Once fitness is made into a punishment, there’s no escape.

Granted most trainers at mainstream gyms and even most DVD sets promote this mindset (Brazilian Buttlift?) so my recommendations above might not help after a certain point. They were just meant to break people out of familiar patterns and point to healthier alternatives.[/quote]

I do not think Tom Thorne is influenced ,at all, by the Media,just a love of Beer :popcorn:

[quote=“shengou”]What about gaining weight? I’m trying to gain weight through a powerlifting routine.

What are some of the good foods in Taiwan that are cheap and easy to get protein and calories? This has always been the part I’ve struggled with. Now it’s even more difficult because it’s hard to find the nutritional facts for the foods in Taiwan.[/quote]

To gain weight, I’ve found that drinking your calories helps a lot. Many trainers will tell people to eat more but that doesn’t work with skinny guys because they don’t want to eat more or more often. So drinking calories bypasses the fullness feeling.

Mix the following and drink it at least once a day:
one scoop protein powder
500cc whole milk (not skim/low fat)
one banana
1-2 spoonfuls of peanut butter
Hershey’s chocolate syrup to taste

Put this in the blender and drink it at a time that will not interfere with your normal meals. This is a key point. You need extra protein and calories to build muscle, so don’t let this protein shake replace or diminish a normal meal or you’ll defeat the purpose. My guys have had a lot of success on this drink and you’ll love the taste. The fat loss folks will hate you. :slight_smile:

Wow! This is a great drink. I forgot the banana, but this is perfect for me. You’re spot on about skinny guys not wanting to eat more often.

My NY’s resolution is to finish more projects than I start but I have big plans for this year and that’s likely impossible. Maybe my goal should be to finish a project.

Well, this year my goal is to be more active overall, maybe start a yoga class, or belly dance or something that entails exercise but is not a fitness class per se. I am only 5 kilos away from my goal -10 from the one the doctor set but that is debatable. On short term, I want to increase my energy levels and stave off the winter blahs.

FF, you seem to imply that the insanity workouts (and p90) are deliberately arranged so that it is difficult to succeed with them? I’m not sure I understand, can you expand on that?

Glad you like it. That stuff is good. Mmmmm…

Yeah IMO Insanity is aptly named since it looks designed to be nearly impossible to complete the workouts at that pace. The models themselves can’t keep up and Shaun T takes timeouts to breat…um…“correct” the students form. You can tell he himself can’t complete them at that pace. It’s just too much. Jacking your heartrate up to 180 and trying to keep it there isn’t so smart. Insanity Asylum is a better program because they varied the exercises a little, which allows a bit more recovery.

But neither of those programs compares to Rushfit (I have all three for comparison BTW). The exercise selection is smarter, the workouts are more scalable, and the trainer has you work at your own pace. This actually allows you to get in more exercise volume since the intensity isn’t a high – meaning you could actually burn more calories since you aren’t about to pass out. I got it for my wife to use at home when she gets tired of kettlebells and needs some variety.

Here’s another look at it: acefitness.org/certifiednews … de-by-side

[quote=“Formosa Fitness”]
Here’s another look at it: acefitness.org/certifiednews … de-by-side[/quote]

the linked article scores P90 about the same as rushfit (and in certain areas, better).